Employees may receive awards and certificates that are cheap and easy—something that managers print from the internet for free or buy in bulk at an office supply store. While it is clearly the value of the employee that counts, if the employee feels as though the object signifying honor and recognition is chintzy and commonplace, then the recognition losses its value, despite the organization’s best intentions. By contrast, if recognition is presented to an employee in the form of an individualized living document such as the Gratitude Award®, which is corroborated from outside the employer’s environment, then the employee will know that the employer is extending attention beyond the ordinary in order to recognize his or her contribution to the organization.
During this moment of recognition, the employee feels valued because the organization has opened its eyes to his or her accomplishments, and responded in a meaningful way. The Gratitude Award® signifies appreciation for an employee’s dedication to the employer and thereby contributes to the employee’s perceived self–actualization. Just as an actor can be cited for having received an OSCAR from the Motion Picture Association of America, an employee can also be cited for having received the Gratitude Award® from his/her employer – just one reason that organizations are now using the Gratitude Award as a values–based form of Recognition for their employees.